One Day by David Nicholls

We’ve been a bit tardy in the bloggers book club later, none of us managed to read Dracula by Bram Stoker last month! ?Life seems to get busier instead of quieter 🙂

This month’s choice was One Day by David Nicholla. I’m always a little sceptical of books that have numerous quotes from famous authors and journalists plastered all over it as it seems that whenever I read one of those books, I disagree with all the critics and hate it.

One Day was easy to read and interesting. While it wasn’t gripping (by that I mean, I read it over about a week – if it was gripping, I’d read it within a day or so) but it certainly kept me coming back to it.

It tells the story of Emma and Dexter who were together the night of their university graduations on 15th July 1988 and their subsequent meet ups on 15th July almost every year after that. 15th July, St Swithuns Day also becomes an important date in their lives for other reasons too. By focusing on one central day in each year, the book is able to move on at a reasonable pace to span twenty years and yet, the jump from one year to the next doesn’t jar at all. ?It is a little like meeting a good friend once a year and picking up from where you left off, the gap of time disappearing immediately.

Dexter is the spoilt son of wealthy parents and slips from one job to the next, turning to drugs, alcohol and numerous women. Emma is the daughter of working class Northern parents and moves from one low paid job to another until she becomes a teacher and then a writer.

What keeps the book moving along is the old-fashioned ‘will they, won’t they?’ as they clearly have an attraction for each other but the timing is never right and they both seem to embark on one unsuccessful relationship after another with other people.

Some of the plot reveals itself to be somewhat predictable toward the end of the novel and I won’t give it away but that doesn’t necessarily weaken it as a novel. ?There are plenty of funny lines and scenes that give it a slightly gritty humour – from Dexter’s inner thoughts and experiences in working as a television presenter ?to Emma’s observations.

It centreds around these two main characters and it works so well because they seem so realistic, they seem to have qualities and flaws that I can recognise in other people I know and perhaps some in myself too. ?I feel as though I would like Emma if I met her and I’d probably end up kicking Dexter, particularly in his earlier years!

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and yes, I agree with all the critics’ quotes too. If you haven’t read it yet, go out and get it.

And if you would like to join our bloggers book club, do leave a comment. We have a group over on facebook too where we post our reviews for each other and decide on our choice of books for the next few months.


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